The Role Of Women In Utopia An

3072 words - 12 pages

ROLE OF WOMEN ESSAY When reviewing literature, a major question being posed lately is what exactly are women's roles in various books. The works, which I am particularly concerned with in this essay, are William Shakespeare's "Othello" and Thomas More's "Utopia". I will be examining various themes of "Othello", in order to figure out where exactly women fit in with the work. These include things like the symbols used, the expectations and virtual rules for a female at the time (especially one from a privileged background like Desdemona), her responsibility (or lack of, perhaps) for the events of the play and the female character's importance in the play in general. I will also be enquiring in the essay as to whether Desdemona was deserving of the treatment she got (or whether she got the respect she deserved) and the different roles she plays in the book (and her avoidance of stereotypification). Her elopement with Othello also raises many questions (in Shakespeare's time and even more recently). In "Utopia"(which I feel has less of an emphasis on the role of women since it appears to be more concerned with humans in general, but still raises important points on gender), I will be examining if there's a background behind More's image of women and his considering of them as more fragile. I will also be attempting to figure out just what is their role in his literary Utopia (and if these ideas are in any ways revolutionary, considering their time).Brabianto has a false image of Desdemona believing her to be the perfect daughter, not realising she is mortal like all other daughters, "She that was ever fair and never proud, Had tongue at will, and yet was never loud-Ibid.". Because of this, he believes she is a daughter that would not elope "A maid so tender, fair and happy/so opposite to marriage". She is presented as different things in "Othello" First of all is Brabianto's aforementioned idea that she is the perfect daughter, and thus surely not like other daughters. "A maiden never bold, of spirit so still and quiet that her mation blush'd at herself". However, Desdemona also plays the part of the deceptive daughter, "She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee".Her image almost appears to be contradictory at certain stages, she talks brazenly and sexually with Iago in Act 2 like a woman who appears to have everything well sussed out but with incredulous innocence and naivety, she cannot believe in betrayal by Act 4, "Beshrew me if I would do so such a wrong, for the whole world". Could this transformation be behind Othello's accusation that Desdemona was shedding "Crocodile tears". Due to being a white Venetian woman, her marriage to Othello changes the way she is viewed as well. She becomes a sexually tainted woman who through her choice of partner, is condemned as black.Desdemona also rejects stereotypification because she runs away not with a handsome young white man but with a much older black man. Her marriage is seen in a negative light...

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